Kurt Opprecht

Giant Sable

A whiff of hairspray
and a flash
amid the din of August vacations
so many little baseball caps
a tribe of African elephants
stands guard
in the center of the darkened hall.

The gemsbok are suspicious
of the Taiwanese couple
and their son of five
in overlarge sneakers.
They could bolt any second
before the elephants even
suspect foul play.

But the family of sable is more sanguine.
Children come, children go,
they can’t mess with us
and after all,
there are very few tigers
here in the hall.

Nevertheless,
a young couple on honeymoon
apparently didn’t get the memo
walk right past the
two eland bucks
standing guard at the frame
step around the wildebeasts
and out onto the savannah.

“We can go out there?”
“Look at those two.”
Before long
the hall has emptied into the vitrine
spread out across the wide plains.

– Kurt Opprecht, 2015
Residency Director

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